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The Kinnor: Complete

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

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The Kinnor!
 I finished the bridge and nut - hmm, if thats what they call it on a lyre - and strung it up last night. It is a bit on the quiet side, but I am hoping that it will project more once I put a back on it. I was looking at that sound board and thinking to myself, "Hmm, that just doesn't look like cedar." Then I remembered that its not. It is actually spruce which I found at Home Depot one day and thought would make a nice sound board for something.  So the final product is made of oak with a spruce sound board.
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From the side
 The strings are nylon coated wire fishing line. The good news is that the package states that they will be non-corrosive in salt water. I used 30, 45, and 60 pound line, but the lowest strings really need something a little beefier. I may have to buy some wound strings for the bottom two or three notes. If you pick those strings too aggressively, they waver a bit sharp before settling down to their proper notes. The have a particularly weak voice too.
 Click to Enlarge
The bridge
 The bridge is rosewood. I feel better about using a smaller spacing at the tail piece now. The closer spacing, along with the angle of the bridge allowed me to use the exact same 1/2 inch spacing on the bridge notches as I did at the tuner end. That kind of unplanned symmetry should always be considered a good omen. Its difficult to see in the photo, but I sanded in a couple of arcs on the bottom to give it three feet. 
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The Nut
 I was originally planning to have the nut be free floating, maybe with a spot of glue. After further consideration I decided to inset it so that it wouldn't wander off at some inopportune moment. It is oak, with a rosewood top. Its a bit massive, but I needed the height to clear the sound board and have the strings roughly parallel to the top, and I wanted the angled bit to give a bit of support to the strings as they ride over it.

Over all I think this was a great success. I ended up with a cool new instrument to play with AND a new router table. I also have enough zither pins to pursue the harp project thats been rumbling around in my head. Since I usually use common items instead of specifically musical ones in my building, it pains me to have to say that zither pins are a great thing. I suspect these will be finding their way into other future builds. Still, they are pretty primitive, and at 25 cents a piece, their are inexpensive enough to appeal to my cheap side.

Here is my kinnor's video debut. The tune, as far as I know, is my own spontaneous composition. This video is a stunning example of why I do not usually speak when doing videos. I don't consider myself nearly as goofy looking and sounding as I appear in the video.


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Playing Since: 1978
Experience Level: Purty Good


Gender: Male
Age: 59

My Instruments:

Yoppjo V1.0

Yoppjo V2.0

Yoppjo V2.01

Chillable Red

Favorite Bands/Musicians:
Tom Waits, Various Irish, Russian, Japanese, and Porteguese punk, Mel Torme... hmmm

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Created 3/3/2006
Last Visit 2/24/2012

I started playing banjo when I was wee, but moved away from it in college. After building my first fretless I started playing again. Since finding The Hangout I have taken up clawhammer and have learned more than in all my previous playing combined. Don't play banjo music. Play music on the banjo. Three-finger and clawhammer. Build and play fretless garage banjos.

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